CWU News

CWU Museum Seeks Reflection on Black Lives Matter Activism with Two Exhibits

Black Lives Matter protesters in Louisville, Kentucky

Black Lives Matter protesters in Louisville, Kentucky, during a March 2021 demonstration for Breonna Taylor, who was killed by police.

The Museum of Culture and Environment at Central Washington University is asking members of the community to reflect upon the racial activism of the past two years by hosting a pair of exhibits now through March 12.

The exhibit in the main gallery — titled “They Thought They Buried Her, but Didn’t Know She Was A Seed” Photographs from Louisville, 2020 — features the photography of Erica Williams, a Houston-based artist with roots in Louisville, Kentucky. 

The artist, who also curated the exhibit, provides a photographic response to the deaths of Black community members, including the police shooting of Breonna Taylor. Williams traveled Louisville, documenting activists as they marched, rode bicycles, and carried signs calling for an end to police violence against Black community members. 

“Louisville, Kentucky, joined the global uprising for Black Lives in the summer of 2020,” Williams said. “We came together, built a community, loved one another, supported each other, and wrote our chapter of history. In this exhibit, we ask you to please take a look at an experience that changed our lives and the sociopolitical landscape of Louisville Metro.”

A second exhibit, “Calls to Action: Protest Signs from Ellensburg,” brings the same message back to our own community. In 2021, local activist Todd Mildon donated signs carried by Ellensburg activists to the CWU Archives and Special Collections. 

Mildon, a lecturer in the CWU Department of Law and Justice and board president of Central Washington Justice for Our Neighbors, was hoping to preserve these signs — and, by extension, the stories they tell — to inspire future generations of activists. The collection includes signs that demand an end to racism, support the Black Lives Matter movement, and call for immigration reform and a strengthening of immigrants’ rights. 

The CWU Museum of Culture and Environment is in Dean Hall on the CWU campus, and is open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday. Parking in the O-5 lot on Wildcat Way is $6 weekdays and is free Saturdays. For more information, visit the museum’s website or call 509-963-2313.

Media contact: David Leder, Department of Public Affairs, 509-963-1518.